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Words With Friends
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Words With Friends is a Scrabble clone that was a massive hit on iPhone and Android phones and has been brought over to Facebook. It's easy to find an opponent in your Friends list, but if you can't, the game will also match you with a random stranger, which raises a number of privacy concerns due to a chat window. Parents should warn children about the dangers of giving out personal information to people they do not know. The game also bombards players with ads for other Zynga products after each turn.
What's it about?
In the Facebook game WORDS WITH FRIENDS, players compete for the most points by adding words to a grid, using letters from their opponents' words as a starting or end point (or anywhere in between). The longer your word, the more points you can earn -- particularly if you lay a tile over a double- or triple-word or letter score bonus tile.
Is it any good?
Phone app fans of word games likely already know about Words With Friends -- but adding the popular Scrabble-like game to Facebook should make dwell times on the site soar. You can play multiple opponents simultaneously. And the more games you have going, the more likely you are to stick around. At its heart, the Facebook version is basically the same as the mobile version, but adds a couple new features like Brag Feeds (letting you gloat about triple word scores) and the ability to challenge friends directly through their news feeds. For word aficionados, this is one Facebook that will be hard to resist.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the strategy of picking the right word as well as the importance of a good vocabulary, even when society seems to be pushing people to use terms like "LOL" and "Y R U upset?"
When social networking online, whether it be playing games or updating your Facebook page, what rules do you need to follow to stay safe?